Over 25 years on, Gran Turismo remains one of the most popular racing game franchises of all time. With Gran Turismo, Polyphony Digital revolutionised realistic console racing games in the 1990s. But it's easy to forget that Gran Turismo isn’t Polyphony’s only racing IP.
The Real Riding Simulator
Before Gran Turismo, Polyphony (or Polys Digital as it was known back then), created the Motor Toon Grand Prix series for the PlayStation. With its colourful graphics, Motor Toon Grand Prix was Sony’s answer to Mario Kart.
And then there was Tourist Trophy.
Released in 2006 between GT4 and GT5 for the PlayStation 2, Tourist Trophy was Polyphony Digital’s first attempt at a motorcycle simulation.
Featuring over 120 licensed motorcycles, the bike racing spin-off was based on GT4’s engine and even shared the same UI. Racing GT4’s circuits on two wheels was a fun novelty at the time.
Kazunori Yamauchi has shown interest in reviving the Tourist Trophy series. Sadly, this has never happened, and Tourist Trophy has remained dormant since the original.
Will there be a Tourist Trophy 2?
When asked if Polyphony could make a new Tourist Trophy game, Yamauchi didn't rule out the possibility but said it would be very difficult.
“The behaviour engine of Gran Turismo actually moves the model of the motorcycle, [so] it would be possible to run a motorcycle on a GT7 course with the same quality as Tourist Trophy in no time,” Yamauchi explained.
But while it’s technically possible, Yamauchi feels that controllers would need to simulate the rider's movements more convincingly.
“I think that how to develop the controller will be the key. Compared to a car, you use your body overwhelmingly. It would be difficult if we didn’t simultaneously develop a controller that could naturally do that.”
2020’s RIDE 4 was the last RIDE game, so there’s certainly a gap in the market. Let’s hope Milestone is working on RIDE 5 to fill the void of Tourist Trophy 2.
Alternatively, Polyphony could add bikes to Gran Turismo. This isn’t a new idea either, as an early build of Gran Turismo HD playable at E3 (before it was renamed as Gran Turismo 5) let players race bikes as well as cars.